Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Thank you Margie Gillis - Love Sarah

On June 1st, Canadian dance icon - Margie Gillis - was "interviewed" by Sun TV. The interview attacked her concerning the amount of public funding she has received over the course of her career. Margie Gillis is an national treasure and an inspiration.
A few years back I had the pleasure of taking a workshop with her and the experience is beyond words and is certainly and experience I consider to be a highlight of my artistic career.

For those of you not familiar with her work, here is an excerpt from her bio, which can be found on her website:
"Margie Gillis has been a Member of the Order of Canada since 1988 and she was appointed Knight of the Ordre national du Québec in 2009. Also, the Canadian and Quebec governments have each given her the honorary title of Cultural Ambassador. In 2001, in recognition of her exceptional contribution to national culture, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec awarded her their Career Grant. During the 2008-2009 season, which spotlighted the 35th anniversary of Margie Gillis’ career, the Canada Council for the Arts awarded her the Walter Carsen Prize for Excellence in the Performing Arts, and the famous Stella Adler Studio of New York gave her their first MAD Spirit Award for Exceptional Humanitarian Actions by an Artist."

The "interviewer" shouted over Ms. Gillis and even had the audacity to mimic her gestures.  It truly broke my heart to watch.  Ms. Gillis held her own and in a respectful and clear way made the case for arts funding.  She was eloquent and graceful, powerful and calm ... which is also how I would describe her dancing.

Since the interview aired, there have been a slew of  articles and resources posted online to show our support for public arts funding.  Some actions include signing a Twitition to have Sun TV removed form basic cable packaging and sending a complaint to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council using this online complaint form: http://www.cbsc.ca/english/complaint/form.php   The information you need to include is:
  • Television or Radio Station: Sun News
  • Name of the program or on-air person: Canada Live with Krista Erickson
  • Date of program: June 1, 2011
  • Time of program: 4:15PM
  • In detailing your concerns, be sure to mention Sun News' clear violation of Clause 5 of the CAB Code of Ethics (http://www.cbsc.ca/english/codes/cabethics.php#Clause5)
Margie Gillis has also publicly published a plea to not respond with hate.

For more information on what you can do check out the following links:
Note by Jenn Mierau
Note by Louis Laberge-Côté
Press Release from the Canadian Dance Assembly (offers supportive stats) 

I'm happy to say that our local media has picked up on the importance of arts funding, this recent article in the Barrie Examiner looks at the economic benefits as well as the importance of arts in our community. 

If you do choose to watch the interview - please do so via YouTube not the Sun TV website as increased traffic to their site will only benefit their bottom line.

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